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Author Topic: Flathead Screws are for Morons  (Read 2219 times)
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ATB
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« on: May 11, 2008, 03:45:28 PM »

There is no point to the flathead screw and it should not longer be manufactured. If the screw driver doesn't slip out of the slot at least 3 times per screw then I must have died and gone to heaven.

There is no point and they should be retired. Obviously, Philips screws are the market leader and have the technological and ease of use advantages- why then are flatheads still in existence? Cheaper to manufacture?  Is there some arcane ERA for flatheads?  A pox on that.

I'm calling for a flathead genocide.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 05:06:03 PM by ATB » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 03:50:34 PM »

Truer words have never been spoken.

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Eduardo X
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 04:11:26 PM »

Quote from: ATB on May 11, 2008, 03:45:28 PM

There is no point to the flathead screw and it should not longer be manufactured. If the screw driver doesn't slip out of the slot at least 3 times per screw then I must have died and gone to heaven.
You're doing it wrong.
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008, 04:36:52 PM »

Quote from: ATB on May 11, 2008, 03:45:28 PM

There is no point to the flathead screw and it should not longer be manufactured. If the screw driver doesn't slip out of the slot at least 3 times per screw then I must have died and gone to heaven.

There is no point and they should be retired. Obviously, Philips screws are the market leader and have the technological and ease of use advantages- why then are flatheads still in existence? Cheaper to manufacture?  Is there some arcane ERA for flatheads?  A pox on that.

I'm calling for a flathead genocide.

I assume you mean slot head screws since flat heads are used so that the screw is flush with the wood/metal when screwed in. And I've always wondered the same thing. Slot heads annoy the piss out of me.
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 05:03:44 PM »

while we're at it we need to get rid of those stupid allen wrench screws that come with those mini allen wrenches that are a pain to turn.  seriously, if you're buying something that needs to be put together and you don't have a proper screwdriver then you need to be forced to buy one.
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2008, 05:08:54 PM »

Personally I like the screws that support both - one axis of the phillips head extends to the edges of the screw so you can use whichever screwdriver you have handy.  Also helpful when the phillips head part gets damaged (it basically becomes a cone with nothing to grip onto) which seems to happen to me a lot.
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2008, 05:12:35 PM »

It's harder to strip a flat head screw than it is a phillips head screw. There are times for both, it doesn't bug me that much. How many times have you totall worn out either the phillips screwdriver tip or the slots in the screw of a phillips head screw?
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2008, 05:15:27 PM »

Phillips screw heads were designed to slip more easily than a straight screwdriver. Early machines often overtightened straight-head screws. Ah, here we go -- from Wiki:

"The Phillips screw drive has slightly rounded corners in the tool recess, and was designed so the driver will slip out, or cam out, under high torque to prevent over-tightening. The Phillips Screw Company was founded in Oregon in 1933 by Henry F. Phillips, who bought the design from J. P. Thompson. Phillips was unable to manufacture the design, so he passed the patent to the American Screw Company, who was the first to manufacture it."

And yet, in the same breath, Wiki also says:

"Slot head has a single slot, and is driven by a flat-bladed screwdriver. The slotted screw is common in woodworking applications, but is not often seen in applications where a power driver would be used, due to the tendency of a power driver to slip out of the head and potentially damage the surrounding material."

So which one is it, Wiki? Which screw slips more easily?

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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2008, 05:22:25 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on May 11, 2008, 05:15:27 PM

Phillips screw heads were designed to slip more easily than a straight screwdriver. Early machines often overtightened straight-head screws. Ah, here we go -- from Wiki:

"The Phillips screw drive has slightly rounded corners in the tool recess, and was designed so the driver will slip out, or cam out, under high torque to prevent over-tightening. The Phillips Screw Company was founded in Oregon in 1933 by Henry F. Phillips, who bought the design from J. P. Thompson. Phillips was unable to manufacture the design, so he passed the patent to the American Screw Company, who was the first to manufacture it."

And yet, in the same breath, Wiki also says:

"Slot head has a single slot, and is driven by a flat-bladed screwdriver. The slotted screw is common in woodworking applications, but is not often seen in applications where a power driver would be used, due to the tendency of a power driver to slip out of the head and potentially damage the surrounding material."

So which one is it, Wiki? Which screw slips more easily?

They both slip, just in different ways.  The phillips head slips under high-torque situations but doesn't displace the screwdriver to the side, and with a slot head the screwdriver often slips out the side, potentially damaging the material.  Easy enough.
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2008, 05:26:40 PM »

Using the proper sized screwdriver for the screw is key.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2008, 05:52:43 PM »

I much prefer a slot screw to a phillips one because no matter what, that phillips screw will always strip on me. Never fails. Slot screws hardly ever strip out on me.
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2008, 06:15:35 PM »

Slot screws should be banned from the planet. They are total garbage.

We need to rename the Phillips screw, though. I worked with Japanese people years ago, and one day one of them asks for a "plus driver". Huh? Then he asks for a "minus driver". I think you can figure out which is which. That's what you call intuitive naming.
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2008, 06:40:18 PM »

Quote from: PaulBot on May 11, 2008, 06:15:35 PM

Slot screws should be banned from the planet. They are total garbage.

We need to rename the Phillips screw, though. I worked with Japanese people years ago, and one day one of them asks for a "plus driver". Huh? Then he asks for a "minus driver". I think you can figure out which is which. That's what you call intuitive naming.

Sounds like the commies got to them...and it sounds like your Japanese co-workers got to you, Boris.
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2008, 07:17:58 PM »

Quote from: PaulBot on May 11, 2008, 06:15:35 PM

Slot screws should be banned from the planet. They are total garbage.

We need to rename the Phillips screw, though. I worked with Japanese people years ago, and one day one of them asks for a "plus driver". Huh? Then he asks for a "minus driver". I think you can figure out which is which. That's what you call intuitive naming.

what's even more fun is different people have different opinions over which is a regular screwdriver, so I always end up asking 'flathead, phillips or OJ with vodka?'
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2008, 07:26:43 PM »

From The Straight Dope:
The inventor of the Phillips screw was Henry F. Phillips, a businessman from Portland, Oregon, who obviously had a lot of time on his hands. Henry knew that power screwdrivers don't work well with ordinary slot screws because (1) you waste precious seconds trying to fit the screwdriver into the damn slot; (2) once you succeed, centrifugal force tends to make the bit slide off the screw and into the workbench; and even if you avoid this, (3) when the screw gets as far in as it's going to go, the power screwdriver either stalls, strips out the screw, or starts to spin around in your hand.

A Phillips screwdriver, however, has a pointed tip. Get it anywhere in the general vicinity of the screw and it engages as if by magic, and what's more, stays engaged. Furthermore, the cross-shaped indentation in the screw is so shallow that when you're done the screwdriver pops right out, before you get into trouble. Back in the 1930s Henry Phillips thought automakers would find it handy making cars. The automakers were no brighter then than now, but eventually realized the usefulness of Henry's device, and it's been with us ever since.

The only problem is, easy as they are to get in, Phillips screws can be a bitch to get back out. The screwdriver pops out too readily, stripping the screw, gouging the work, and in general transferring to Joe Handyman all the problems that were formerly the province of the assembly line. Once again, in other words, the little guy gets shafted by the dehumanizing forces of capitalism. The only solution, socialism obviously being in decline, is to buy a power screwdriver of your own. You can't beat 'em, join 'em.
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PaulBot
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2008, 11:45:27 PM »

Now I wonder where the term "screw it" came from (like when we're giving up on something)?
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2008, 01:15:43 AM »

Once you go Robertson, you`ll never go back.
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2008, 01:28:58 AM »

Honestly, it's Torx screws that are for morons.  Philips was working fine, Torx people!
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2008, 01:58:24 AM »

Contact points that transfer torque on
flat head - 2, 180 degrees, sides - 50% of each surface subject to sliding down the groove. Shallow grooves also pose risk
phillips - 4, 90 degrees, sides - if not enough pressure or non-conforming bit shape will strip easily.
torx - 6, 60 degrees - little room for mfgr variance, otherwise they are useless.
robertson - 4, 90 degrees, sides + corners - square peg, round hole. If wrong size is used, stripping can occur.
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ATB
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2008, 01:39:40 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 12, 2008, 01:28:58 AM

Honestly, it's Torx screws that are for morons.  Philips was working fine, Torx people!

But torx screws are not popular in the middle east...except Israel...slywink
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2008, 02:46:22 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on May 11, 2008, 05:08:54 PM

Personally I like the screws that support both - one axis of the phillips head extends to the edges of the screw so you can use whichever screwdriver you have handy.  Also helpful when the phillips head part gets damaged (it basically becomes a cone with nothing to grip onto) which seems to happen to me a lot.

I'm with you. Everyone else is nuts.
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2008, 05:07:14 PM »

Quote from: Purge on May 12, 2008, 01:15:43 AM


Damn straight. A proud Canadian invention.
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2008, 07:34:18 PM »

The only compromise I consider for robertson is the robertson/phillips combination which I've found to work really well.
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ATB
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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2008, 10:13:27 PM »

Quote from: ChaoZ on May 12, 2008, 05:07:14 PM

Quote from: Purge on May 12, 2008, 01:15:43 AM


Damn straight. A proud Canadian invention.


I hear it works well for screwing blocks of ice together...
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Giles Habibula
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2008, 11:30:43 PM »

Quote from: ChaoZ on May 12, 2008, 05:07:14 PM

Quote from: Purge on May 12, 2008, 01:15:43 AM


Damn straight. A proud Canadian invention.

So that's what those damn things are called.
My entire mobile home was assembled with the things.
The first time I needed to remove a door hinge from the frame, I found out all my screwdrivers were useless, and had to go out and find a driver in a hardware store.
Once I got over it, I found that they do actually work pretty well.
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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2008, 12:58:30 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on May 11, 2008, 05:52:43 PM

I much prefer a slot screw to a phillips one because no matter what, that phillips screw will always strip on me. Never fails. Slot screws hardly ever strip out on me.

I'm with you. Everyone else is nuts.
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2008, 01:19:44 PM »

Torx is my absolute favorite.
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2008, 03:28:08 PM »

I think the one thing that slot heads have over Phillips heads is that they can be a bit nicer visually.  I actually like Allen stuff... I've never stripped an Allen head.
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2008, 07:30:07 PM »

Quote from: kratz on May 13, 2008, 03:28:08 PM

I think the one thing that slot heads have over Phillips heads is that they can be a bit nicer visually.  I actually like Allen stuff... I've never stripped an Allen head.

+1
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2008, 08:15:24 PM »

I fine with just a straight screw  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2008, 09:50:18 PM »

I have seen and used them all except the Robertson. The Robertson looks like it is right out of the middle-ages icon_razz. I find the Torq-set and Torx the most efficient and gaining popularity.
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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2008, 11:30:50 AM »

The problem I have with Torx head screws is actually finding a good set of Torx bits in one package that doesn't skip every other numbered bit.  Nothing worse than finding out you need a 8 when all you have are 7,9,11 or some other number than what you need, at least with a slot or Phillips it may not be perfectly sized to the screw in question but if you have 2-3 of each one will at least get the job done more than likely without another trip to the store for that one bit that didn't come in your set of Torx bits.
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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2008, 04:12:02 PM »

Yeah, the torx shit will never catch on because you need the exact bit, whereas for most household tasks, you can use a phillips bit that isn't exactly the right size if you need to... this is the problem with allen as well.  Phillips isn't one size fits all, but it's one size works for many.
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